Quite a thorough tome. Quite a challenging listen -- but worth the effort both in the writing and the reading/listening. Well thought-out and articulately argued challenges to the thinking of many widely held beliefs. Supporting his arguments with the best in research and analysis. Will it put to rest some of the sniping and arguing about non-issues in parenting/educational arenas? Will it help us to make more rational choices in these areas? I hope so. Doubt it.
Amy Tan has been a favorite over the years for her colorful, misguided characters, the interplay between generations of women, the triumph over pain and abuse.
This book has the abuse and the misguided, but everything is so flat that I simply wanted to plug my ears with cotton and not hear anything for a while. Repetition abounds, wondering about whether the mother betrayed her daughter. How could a writer with Tan's skills come up with something on a topic like this and have it be so hopelessly boring?
Diane Setterfield, Bellman & Black
all of them
Only those with time on their hands and a taste for lighter fare
The fascination with sociopaths and unexpected twists in psychodramatic mystery work that is "ripped from the headlines" is becoming yawnable. It's a matter of premise and all of the underpinnings of the book. Not so deeply flawed that I didn't enjoy it -- just so much of the same from the genre that it didn't move me to say, "that was totally wonderful and kept me wanting more.
not really thinking of one
none of those -- it really didn't move me
I'm thinking that this is a fine beach read, okay to listen to while puttering in the garden or knitting a blanket... but not a classic in the making, not a watershed insight into motivation or relationships, and not a genre-defining accomplishment.
Deep emotion, well-crafted story, triumph of the spirit
Abdullah never stopped loving his sister. His anguish and devotion. The sadness of their parting and the intertwining lives give me pause. I wished for it to turn out differently -- and I knew it could end no other way.
Three narratorsThe woman demonstrates the pathos in her female characters, especially the ugly twin. She was not a likeable character, but I found myself empathizing with her anyway.Both men reflect their narration sections well. The flavor of the characters and the places come through beautifully.
Each person sought to overcome a great loss. Each showed a resilience and brokenness that caught my heart. Even the ancillary characters seem vivid, broken, resilient, poetic and epic. In the end, only Abdullah, his daughter, and the plastic surgeon do not betray those they love. And Fari, the lost sister, atones for the betrayal of her adopted mother, and learns to love.
This amazing author has taught me three times to grieve for a land that is filled with so many conflicting traits -- a capacity for cruelty, a capacity for intense affection, resiliency in the face of impossible, unspeakable situations, and above all, a capacity for story.I once knew some people who lived in Afghanistan before all of the combat. They spoke of people with an ability to enjoy life, beauty in many ways, and the capacity for poetry and story.
The sweep and intertwining of characters, families, countries and political events gives the reader a sense of the impact of time on people and people on their tunes. The characters are vivid and while complicated, I think he gets the right amount of core characters versus side characters. I'm happy that some of the people on the wrong side are swept up through misunderstanding. I also find it hopeful that some of the people standing up for the right survive through the worst of it.
This is the era of my parents andd grandparents -- I think I understand something more about their time and lives.
Follett has a touch for description that doesn't distract from the story but brings it more to life.
Maude gives up the shallow for the things that are most important. She's a survivor with a sense of right and wrong that I can identify with.
Sometimes the narrator and the writer are very much in synch with each other. Lee and Follett are inseparable in my mind. His notion of the accents and voice tones ring especially true. It amuses me that he uses such a nasal tone for the American accents (this is common with British narrators) But I love his Welsh, Eaton, Russian and German accents.
Call of Tyrants
I would to some friends, not to others
hmmm -- okay
I liked the matching of the actor/voice tone to the role they portrayed.
No idea -- this is about right
I read on the basis of a young man I love, and whose tastes I know to be even quirkier than my own. Was not surprised at the piece or it's features. A definite product of the Brooks family sensibilities. Not earth-shattering or inspiring, but memorable and amusing. I enjoyed the experience.
Everything. The characters were compelling and intense, the historical context felt right (even though I'm no expert), the relationships were so well developed, and the descriptions brought the whole thing to life.
while a predictable adventure in some ways -- how could have been thought a spy and then a witch? -- how could he not have compelled her to love him? -- it still captured my interest. I think because the author KNOWS these people, loves them, and puts them right in front of the reader to love them, too.
funny -- i don't agree with his politics, but i agree with some of this attitudes about politicians. it was sarcastic and rude, but in a totally honest sort of way
more than travel
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Only Bryson can capture a place and time with wit, historical perspective, self-depricating humor, and a sense of the place that few others see.
He understands exactly where to place the emphasis for maximum cheek
It's a very big place
Bryson's wry wit combined with his ambling approach to any subject has give Australia a brilliant and hilarious commentary. His unique sense of what might be interesting has taken me up the back roads and into the most obscure sections of this vast and unknowable part of the world.
Okay, loved the first two, couldn't wait to find out how it all ends. No spoilers here, but it just didn't have the cliff-hangers or suspense that the first two contained.
If author was the main man, he has a high opinion of his own attractiveness and moral character!! Even though he can't be counted on to be faithful -- or can he?
Point taken that women can be strong, clever, good leaders, and not to be trifled with -- I liked the females to a point. Why did so many want to get into bed with Bloomquist?
I'm fond of Steve Martin -- his dry, absurd sense of humor connects most of the time for me. But this one just didn't work. I'm not sure why. Sorry, Steve. I wanted to like it, but just couldn't find it this time.
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